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A cathedral without a heart in ...

A cathedral without a heart in ...
Photo Information
Copyright: Paul VDV (PaulVDV) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4488 W: 17 N: 10620] (43342)
Genre: Places
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2018-04-14
Categories: Daily Life, Architecture
Exposure: 1/21 seconds
Photo Version: Original Version, Workshop
Date Submitted: 2018-07-02 10:27
Viewed: 695
Points: 64
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Managua - A cathedral without a heart in a city without a center

No personal consideration but literally quoted from Lonely Planet guide:
‘On December 23, 1972, an 6.2 earthquake devastated Managua, leveling more than 250 city blocks. 11.000 people were killed and 53.000 homes destroyed.
International aid poured in. The money was diverted to dictator Anastasio Somoza and his associates while the people who needed it suffered and died.
This dramatically increased opposition to Somoza among all classes of society.’

The city center and the old cathedral have never been rebuilt.
Only the Malecón on the lake front is an attractive new development.
In the former city center you will now find large open areas, wide avenues with very little traffic and the hollow shell of the Antigua Catedral, Managua’s Old Cathedral.
For security reasons you can’t enter this empty prayer house: a cathedral without a heart in a city without a center.

All new constructions have happened on the outskirts of the former city center.
Yet it is this cathedral on the large empty square which is impressive.

There were some drinks and snack vendors in a corner of the square but I was the only visitor. Twice on that afternoon I saw another individual tourist. That’s all.
Foreigners do not visit the Nicaraguan capital. Managua has a not too good reputation.
Many travelers book online a hotel in Masaya or Granada (not far from the capital) and a shuttle service from the airport to their hotel.
In the beginning and at the end of my journey I spent the night in Managua. Actually, I visited the city only from noon to evening. But I would surely recommend a full day.
I have followed the safety advice of my hotel and I met only very friendly people who were surprised to meet me.

From Wikipedia:
The cathedral was designed by Belgian architects. Its neoclassical design was said to have been inspired by the look of the church of Saint-Sulpice in Paris, France. Construction began in 1928 and lasted until 1938. Belgian engineer Pablo Dambach oversaw the construction of the cathedral.
The iron that was used to frame the core of the cathedral was shipped directly from Belgium.
The cathedral survived the 1931 Nicaragua earthquake as only its iron core had been erected at the time.
Four decades later, the cathedral was heavily damaged during the 1972 Nicaragua earthquake, and the building was subsequently condemned though it was not demolished.

ikeharel, holmertz, danos, PiotrF, Fis2, worldcitizen, ChrisJ, quovadis, papagolf21, jemaflor, macjake, fotka, jhm, COSTANTINO, Silvio1953, adramad, Lidka, pierrefonds, Cricri, cornejo, maloutim has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To quovadis: the unrestPaulVDV 3 2018-07-03 09:51
To macjake: Not impossible but ...PaulVDV 1 2018-07-03 09:42
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Critiques [Translate]

Hello Paul,
I agree that the WS from the square looks quite terrible, but in the main photo you managed to gather all the persons present into a small crowd in the foreground. You make central Managua look like a very hectic place. Reading the note I get a different impression, so I wonder who were their customers. Did you buy from all of them just to make them happy? The photo is well composed and the colours are remarkable.
I guess I should take the opportunity to wish Belgium good luck before the game starting in a few minutes.
Kind regards,

He4llo Paul,
Even with those reasons mentioned - the original beauty of this cathedral would never be ruined. It sure had an imposing grandeur in past time, still marvelously shown.
A photo from a relative distant point allow you to add a daily-life action to the whole.
Good evening,

  • Great 
  • lousat Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 12115 W: 126 N: 21903] (111779)
  • [2018-07-02 11:21]

Hi Paul,all reamains after the earthquake days,no works and a strange sensation like to live the "day after",especially in your WS without people inside. A very curious post,and interesting note about the history of this damnaged cathedral. Have a nice evening and thanks,Luciano

Dobro vece.
Lep pogled i trenutak, dobar tekst ...
Dobar rad sa lepim fotografijama u radionici, lepo pokazano, dobra perspektiva i kontrast, lepe boje, lepo uhvacen trenutak.
Lep trg i stara arhitektura, lepa Katedrala.
Zelim vam lepu i mirnu noc, sve najbolje u novoj nedelji koja je pocela, srecno.

Good evening.
Nice view and a moment, good text ...
Good work with nice photos in the workshop, beautifully shown, good perspective and contrast, nice colors, nice moment.
Nice square and old architecture, beautiful Cathedral.
I wish you a nice and peaceful night, all the best in the new week that started, good luck.

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  • danos Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 13701 W: 295 N: 27478] (110395)
  • [2018-07-02 12:55]

Hello Paul,
the results of the earthquake are terrible with lot of people to die and hundreds of constructions to are collapsed.The church we see from this distance looks rather good with the people on the foreground to add life in the scene.The WS complete the scenery.


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  • Tue Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 9495 W: 57 N: 16157] (59790)
  • [2018-07-02 13:13]

Hallo Paul,
Een prachtige foto van deze kathedraal, die daar zo schitterend in de zon op het midden van het plein staat. De overhangende bomen en de schaduwen in de voorgrond zorgen voor een mooi contrast en de mensen zorgen voor een mooie impressie van het leven hier.

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  • Fis2 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 10097 W: 161 N: 16634] (128553)
  • [2018-07-02 13:48]

Witaj Paul!
Curious scene from daily life.
Excellent frame, colors and light.
I like church and interesting towers.
Well done.
Good night.

Ciao Paul
le foto sono molto belle, tutte, ma questa è sicuramente la migliore, le persone sono un ottimo ingrediente per migliorare le foto, soprattutto se movimentano la scena o hanno qualcosa mi molto colorato, qui hai tutto questo.

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  • PiotrF Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 4259 W: 2 N: 7334] (35722)
  • [2018-07-02 14:36]

Hello Paul,
An interesting note about your visit to Managua.
Interesting view of the ruins of the cathedral.
In TE there are very few photos from this country.
Great composition from this place.
I like very good POV and wonderful colours.
Nice presentation

Hello Paul,
This is another excellent set of photos. There is a slight tilt to the left in the main photo, but I'm being a bit too picky. ;-) The views are all interesting, and so is your note. Seeing the blue banner on the church from a closer POV in the WS also made me look up more info about the poet Ruben Dario. It's a shame the church hasn't been restored, but even in it's current state it is still beautiful.

  • Great 
  • ChrisJ Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 14674 W: 1049 N: 29925] (140689)
  • [2018-07-02 18:15]

Hello Paul

The same thing happened to aid money sent to the victims of the 1980 earthquake in Italy. The Camorra criminal organisation is still operating to this day and still ripping off the people of Naples & Campania. The missing cross on the left is testament to the destructive power of the earthquake here. Tfs

Hi Paul.

The picture was taken just a few days before the civil unrest in the country took place. Today, two months after the "revolution" there are over 300 citizens of the country death, killed by the police or snipers on behave of the Ortega gang government. The country is heading towards a total chaos and despair situation, the world media does not put much attention to it, while innocent people suffer. Thanks for showing this peacefully looking scene from the capital city.

Bonjour, cher Paul,
Je suis toujours avide de lire "Les Belles Histoires de l'oncle Paul, du journal Spirou", pardon Paul pour cet aparté.
Mais vos notes sont passionnantes, l'on apprend beaucoup grâce à votre ressenti et vécu sur place.
Quant à la cathédrale fermée...

Salut Paul,
Bien cadrée cette église avec ces personnes en avant-plan qui donne un aperçu de la vie locale, bonne gestion des contrastes de luminosité et intéressante note.

Fine postcard with the impressive cathedral. I like the composition with the merchants enjoying the shadow.
Well taken.


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  • dta Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 6116 W: 277 N: 11906] (91550)
  • [2018-07-03 0:24]

Bonjour PAul ,
Composition intéressante , entre ombre et lumière , avec les branches d'arbres comme je les aime . La cathédrale semble en pente , mais le lampadaire est bien droit : ça fonctionne bien .

Hi Paul
great post for TE, love this one. But as you say, Gert wouldn't be too happy here hahaha

after reading your note I have many questions. First of all, can you enter the Cathedral? In your note you said no but it doesn't look to have a fence or guards or security around. I'd be tempted to try. Or perhaps i'm not seeing the fence.

Second...so after all these years, the government still hasn't put any money into rebuilding this? wow...thats shocking. What's not shocking, sadly, is how the politicians at the time basically took the Aid money...how disgraceful is that - idiots.

The outer shell of the Cathedral looks to have held up, but then again we are far away. The lady holding the itmes on the left makes me laugh bc there are no tourists around, as you pointed out.

great TE post, wonderful

  • Great 
  • fotka Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 506 W: 9 N: 1234] (5833)
  • [2018-07-03 5:34]

Hi Paul,
Managua in Nicaragua has bad reputation as you said in your note and most tourists who visit go straight to Granada. Too bad because tourism is an excellent business for the country.
Nice square with cathedral in BG but without of life.
Well done photo as well colors, light and sharpness.
Best regards,

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  • emka Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 10542 W: 146 N: 26505] (127445)
  • [2018-07-03 10:43]

Hello Paul,
From this place, the cathedral looks impressive and I wouldn't think it is in ruin and abandoned. You were very brave to go there alone when Managua has not a good reputation. I am glad that you met only friendly people. Mayne the warnings in Lonely Planet were exaggerated. On the other hand, there was unrest shortly after. Nice also Workshop pictures. beautiful colours.

Kind regards MAlgo

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  • jhm Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 24831 W: 520 N: 41813] (179334)
  • [2018-07-03 11:00]

Dag Paul,

De kathedraal komt prachtig in het licht te staan.
Door de schaduw in de voorgrond krijgen we een mooi contrast foto.
De dame met de ballons geeft extra kleur aan de foto.
Goed foto werk bedankt.

Groeten uit Oost-Vlaanderen,

Hello Paul,
Very nice capture from Managua, taken with perfect pov and ligth management.
Showing us both this nice architecture and a scene of Daily life.
Many interesting and useufll notes makes your entry a perfect TE job.
TFS and best regards

Hello dear friend and have a nice time
no more comments
only reading that on December 23 1972 an 6 2 earthquake
devastated Managua leveling more than 25 city blocks
11000 people were killed
what coud I say for this??
nothing at all

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  • rychem Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 3533 W: 0 N: 8238] (58553)
  • [2018-07-03 22:16]

A sad photo, ruins as result of an earthquake, this is one of examples of damage after an earthquake, a very nice photo although the subject is depressing
regards Ryszard

Ciao Paul, great view of fantastic cathedral, nice daily life scene with people at work, excellent perspective, splendid light and wonderful colors very well done, my friend, ciao Silvio

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  • Nicou Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 14282 W: 0 N: 16269] (173748)
  • [2018-07-04 8:22]


quel cadrage végétatif et vue quelle iamge et cpatage sueprbe compo avec ces marchands et leurs charettes en premier plan cette églsie en fond quelle vue splendide captage.
Bravo et amitié

Hello Paul.
An interesting note that helps us understand this empty square and only see the sellers in the foreground, the cathedral is an immense building or rather the skeleton of it, your POV is fantastic.
The management of color and light, are magnificent, highlighting the beauty and sharpness of the image.
Very well done. I like it
Enjoy a good day
Very best regards.

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  • boa Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 573 W: 2 N: 1474] (8003)
  • [2018-07-05 12:36]

Hi Paul,
it must be a rather strange feeling to visit a square with almost no people! Places like this are always crowded and full of life.
It seems that we like to travel to same destinations(I think we have talked about that before) I have actually had plans to visit Nicaragua a couple of years now. Perhaps it will be in Feb-19 if I don't travel in West Africa. Your shot is very clear and sharp with excellent colors, a good note too! Tfs!

Have a nice evening/

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  • Lidka Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor [C: 398 W: 108 N: 906] (527)
  • [2018-07-05 12:37]

Dear Paul!
Amazing church, amazing architecture. Fine people. Fine scene and poses. Superb tree, leaves. Good POV, very good capture. Superb frame. Original picture.
Well done!

Bonsoir Paul,

La présence des personnes anime la scène. La prise de vue permet de voir les détails des ruines de la cathédrale. La qualité de la lumière embellit les couleurs de l'image. Bonne soirée.


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  • Cricri Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 15955 W: 159 N: 27825] (146202)
  • [2018-07-09 10:00]

Bonjour Paul
Elle est belle cette image de la cathédrale avec trois scènes différentes dans l'ombre, intéressant WS
Bonne soirée

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  • jmdias Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 10304 W: 174 N: 18380] (81895)
  • [2018-07-09 16:29]


it should have be restored or, at least, the ruins made more secure and resistant. even in ruins it is very beautiful.excellent image with a beautiful view. a rare image of this capital.

take care


Hello Paul, very good picture of this interesting scene of everyday life with the cathedral in the background, very well captured in this interesting image, with good sharpness, light, color and quality. A great job perfectly done, my congratulations, my friend. Thanks for sharing this interesting work.

Good night and happy beginning of the week.
All the best from the south of Spain.

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